Russia’s currency hit a 13-month high today against the euro-dollar basket, also hitting the current boundary of the central bank’s floating trading band.

The rouble firmed as far as 34.9985 against the basket according to Reuters data, testing the boundary of the 35-38 trading band. In the past, the central bank has allowed the band to shift by 5 kopecks for each $700 million of interventions at its boundaries, and dealers expect these parameters to prevail. Read more

The Russian central bank isn’t discussing any kind of capital controls, Sergei Shvetsov, head of financial operations at Bank Rossii, said in Moscow today. With Russian inflation falling year-on-year and static month-to-month (data from Q3), this is unsurprising. The rouble is also falling against most developed and emerging currencies (see chart).

Fitch Ratings has today revised the Russian Federation’s ratings outlook to stable from negative.

This means Fitch has changed its view that a sovereign rating downgrade is likely. A stable outlook means no ratings change is expected. Read more

More diversification, more lending, decent growth, but no capital taxes. That’s the message from Alexei Ulyukayev, first deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank. (Confusingly, there seem to be three first deputies.)

Mr Ulyukayev has been busy talking to reporters today. He has announced: Read more

The Russian central bank will spend $1bn next week, buying 30 metric tons of gold from Gokhran, the state repository. Gokhran had planned to sell 20-50 MT on the open market, but cancelled after news of the sale leaked. The sale would have helped plug Russia’s budget deficit, and, apparently, purchase some diamonds from state-run miner Alrosa. Read more

As Russia invites foreign investment, China encourages domestic investment in commercial property. US housing prices are marginally improved but on thin volume, and unemployment data looks grim Read more